The 5 Most Incredible Things Ever Done Purely Out of Spite
For some of us, all it takes to get our creative juices flowing is a cup of coffee and a few minutes of free time. For others, nothing short of a three-day coke binge and a Pink Floyd laser show can spark their imagination. Then there's a whole category of weirdos who require an intensely burning grudge match to get anything done.
Here are five things that would have never been given life if not for humanity's undying capacity to never let a thing go.
Chinese "Nail Houses"
If you've been paying attention for the last 15 years or so, you know that China is like a rapidly but awkwardly developing teenager -- they're growing so fast that their pants don't fit right, and their boobs are a little lopsided. In the midst of all this haphazard and frantic development, there are a few people who refuse to vacate their government-owned homes to make way for new Chinese strip malls. Builders call them stubborn nails because they won't budge.
Homeowner Luo Baogen, for example, refused to allow the government to demolish his home in Wenling in order for a new road to be constructed. Saying that the money offered wasn't enough for him to afford a new crib, he remained the lone holdout long after all his neighbors had left. Undeterred by the presence of one uncooperative human, the Chinese government just built the road around the home, leaving Luo Baogen and his wife a tiny patch in the middle of the asphalt.
Seriously, how many people have hit that pole?
In 2007, Wu Ping and her husband, Yang Wu, refused to give up their home in Chongqing to make way for a shopping mall. Officials tried to keep them off the property (they'd excavated the area around it so that it was situated in the middle of a massive pit), but they woefully underestimated how utterly badass this particular couple was. Yang was a martial artist, so he managed to scale the cliff leading up to the house using a pair of fucking nunchakus; after Chuck Norrising himself to the top, he unfurled a Chinese flag from his roof, as well as a banner that said "no violation of legitimate private property."
Horton Hears a Holdout
Sometimes really extreme measures are warranted. In one town, residents wouldn't vacate their homes to make way for an office complex, so developers rerouted an entire fucking river to encircle their houses. Using bulldozers, the construction crews created a mini river that was "as deep as a man and twice that wide." Then they cut the residents' power and fresh water so they ended up as squatters in their own houses.
It's kind of sad and kind of supervillain lairish at the same time.
The Gay Pride House Across the Street from Westboro Baptist Church
We all dream of the day we can get recognition for doing what we love. Members of Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church are no different from the rest of us. It just so happens that what they love is using the funerals of American soldiers and celebrities to get publicity for their hate-filled anti-homosexual agenda. Can WBC members help it that they are the skid marks on the underwear of the world? Of course they can, that's why they make us so mad.
Yoda's speech from Phantom Menace apparently fell on deaf ears.
After seeing a 9-year-old boy stand up to the church by holding a sign that said "God Hates No One," one nonprofit organizer was inspired to do the same, but in his own way. Aaron Jackson looked up the church on Google Earth and happened to notice that a house across the street was for sale. Now, while most people would sooner take up residence in the depths of hell than live next to the world's most famous hate group, Jackson was in the market for housing for his group's volunteers and a place to make a point. Six months and $83,000 later, the house is now the property of Planting Peace ... and it's gotten a paint job.
They also got rid of all the closets.
Every time members of Westboro Baptist Church go to church, they are lambasted with the colors of gay pride. Even better -- the WBC's founder's granddaughter now works with Equality House to bring attention to bullying. We guess there are worse ways to spend 80 grand.
Fences Built by Sheer Hatred
Robert Frost once tried to convince people that "good fences make good neighbors." It turns out it also works the other way around. Sometimes shitty neighbors make shitty fences -- on purpose. There's even a name for barriers created explicitly to piss off someone else: spite fences.
For instance, in 1876, railroad investor Charles Crocker built the mother of all spite fences to stick it to his less wealthy neighbor, an undertaker by the name of Nicholas Yung. Except for the lot owned by Yung, Crocker managed to buy up an entire city block, and all that was standing between him and his plans for total block domination was Yung, who refused to give up his sexy slice of real estate pie. In retribution, Crocker entombed the undertaker's house in a concrete wall so high that it required support from buttresses.
Not pictured: the prejudice porch and the hate hedges.
Although the fence did prompt Yung and his family to move, they refused to give Crocker the satisfaction of buying their land. After Yung died in 1880, his wife took up the pissing contest torch and kept the land until her death in 1895. In 1904, relatives sold the property and the wall came down ... and then less than two years later the entire area was completely wiped out by the 1906 earthquake and fire. Because karma's a bitch.
A hundred years later, spite fences are still being built. When his neighbors in a new subdivision started complaining about the smells, mosquitoes, and dust that emitted from his working farm, Rhett Davis offered to pay for half of the cost of putting up some normal fences. They refused, because a fence would block their view. So he built a fence anyway -- three demolished cars planted nose down in the dirt in front of his farm. He calls it his "Redneck Stonehenge."
"It's on, it's on like Major Kong."
Of course, we could point out that three solitary cars aren't enough to hack it as a Stonehenge imitation, but let's not keep pushing the guy.
The Entire Existence of Lamborghini Sports Cars
Lots of people use "haters" to motivate them. You know, somebody disrespects you in your youth, so you spend the next several years getting really good at rapping. You wouldn't think, however, that a person would take the trouble to turn a personal slight into one of the most prestigious automobile brands in the world. Yet tractor builder and former mechanic Ferruccio Lamborghini developed his luxury Italian cars for the sole purpose of screwing over a man named Enzo Ferrari, and keeping up with him -- rather than turning a profit -- became his primary mission in life.
Yes, this is what a Lamborghini used to look like.
In the early 1960s, Lamborghini went to Ferrari to complain about the clutch, which he considered the weak point on an otherwise superlative automobile. Clearly disdainful of the clutch-hating pleb, Enzo Ferrari responded, "You know how to drive a tractor, but you'll never learn to drive a Ferrari." Pissed off and in possession of a bankroll large enough to make his point universally heard, Lamborghini created his own car. He was determined to succeed, even selling his 350GT model at a loss to stay competitive with Ferrari.
Thus marked the beginning of using sports cars in dick measuring contests.
By 1963, when Lamborghini ran into his rival in a restaurant and tried to say hello, Ferrari turned his head and ignored him. In a 1984 interview, the incredibly devoted automaker recalled the decades-old slight and said, "If Enzo Ferrari hadn't made that crack ... I might never have built my Lamborghinis." Hell, that makes us wonder if Lamborghini even liked making cars, or if he'd rather have been a farmer. Just bitterly overseeing his production line, spitting in rage with each finished vehicle. "Fuck you, Ferrari! We just finished another one!"
Well, as the old saying goes, "Devoting your life to designing, building, and selling half-million-dollar luxury sports cars is the best revenge."
If there's a moral in all of this, we guess it's "Cars. Pretty great, right?"
A 700-Year Dispute Involving a Stolen Bucket
In the early 1300s, there was an ongoing conflict between the Italian city-states of Bologna and Modena, for the usual reasons people went to war back then (Bologna was loyal to the Pope, while Modena bore allegiance to the Holy Roman Emperor). How the whole thing came to be about a stolen bucket, however, takes some explaining.
In 1325, Bologna got their ass handed to them by Modena at the so-called Battle of Zappolino. In addition to beating the Bolognese, the Modenese rubbed the victory in their face, both by holding a sporting event outside the walls of the defeated city ... and by stealing an oak bucket from their well. They kept it as a trophy to show off their victory. That was in 1325. They still have it.
"Are you sure we have enough viewing seats? We don't want a rehash of the All Bucket's Eve disaster."
That's supposedly the original bucket, which the Modenese keep in a glass display case, purely as a spiteful taunt to their rival city nearly 700 freaking years later. They even at some point made a replica bucket and suspended it from the bell tower of their cathedral:
It's filled with pee to deter theft.
And for seven straight centuries, any time anybody from Bologna tries to talk shit, the people of Modena have the ultimate comeback: "Well, we've still got your bucket, asshole."
For more spiteful creations, check out 7 Great Foods (That Were Created Thanks to Dick Moves) and 5 Villains That Were Thinly-Veiled Versions of Real People.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 5 Ways We're Totally Ruining Kickstarter.
And stop by LinkSTORM because you aren't ready to work yet.
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